Letter: Private sector transportation often works best
Bill Nachman’s article ("Bay Transit to build new facility in Gloucester," May 30 issue) involving $5 million worth of taxpayer money begs a comparison between a transportation system largely funded with taxpayer money (Bay Transit) and the two bus services funded with investor and consumer money (Newton’s Bus Service and Paige Bus Service). I ask that Mr. Nachman sharpen his pencil and return to the story for a follow-up.
Sixty years ago, many shipyard workers from the Middle Peninsula/Northern Neck commuted to jobs in Newport News in automobiles at significant worker expense, with associated traffic congestion, and, perhaps, they arrived fatigued after a lengthy commute. In the decades since, two bus services have developed with investor/consumer money that provide comfort, safety, reduced congestion on the highways, and an opportunity to sleep on the way to work. The buses seem to be near capacity, and everybody wins.
In the weeks since Mr. Nachman’s article, I have paid attention to Bay Transit buses and have seen more than 25 or 30 of them. In virtually every instance, Bay Transit buses have no passengers whatsoever, and a dozen or so are rusting in a junkyard in Hartfield. Investors would not stand for these inefficiencies, and taxpayers should not be required to do so. Elected officials who facilitate this expenditure treat the voters poorly, and I challenge them to explain their vote in this matter. Five million dollars is a lot of money.
Andrew J. Billups III
White Stone, Va.